Training method comparison

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Fishmongerjoe
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Training method comparison

Post by Fishmongerjoe » Wed May 22, 2019 3:01 pm

Hypothetical situation:

Say you were an amateur dog trainer with moderate skill. Maybe you’ve trained a hunting dog or two, maybe even have some experience in with low level hunt test. In other words, not a total rookie but your not a seasoned dog trainer either.

Let’s say you are about to get another dog and in modern fashion you start perusing the internet looking at what’s new in the world of retriever training. After you brush away the 1st layer you discover 2 distinct camps of dog trainers.

1. The British Method
2. The American Method

I DO NOT want this thread to digress into a debate on training styles.

My question is do you think it’s possible to start with 2 dogs and train 1 in each method? How would you pick the 2 dogs? Would you grab 2 out of the same litter? Or would you start with 1 from English lines and 1 from American lines? What would be the best way to be objective yet come to a conclusion? What would be the controls? Hunt test? Actual hunting performance? Maybe a controlled hunt like a preserve hunt?

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Re: Training method comparison

Post by shags » Wed May 22, 2019 4:22 pm

Not sure I understand what you're asking.

Do you want to know if someone can use one method on one dog, and the other method on a different dog? Sure, why not? It would be a good way to figure out a method that the trainer enjoys using.

Or are you more after a comparison to how dogs respond to the methods, as in which is more effective? For that, IMO you'd need to train more than one dog in each, given that you can't choose dogs with identical personalities and talent. One dog each won't prove or disprove the effectiveness of a training method, but if you work 3-4 dogs in each, you might get a better idea. Even more dogs would be better. Of course, keep in mind that the trainer might find one method or the other more compatible with *his* personality and temperament so that would skew the results also.

The proof would be in the pudding, depending on what flavor is preferred. Some measure by success in competition or testing, and some by birds in the bag. Circumstances between those can vary wildly; what someone might demand in a personal gundog can be more or less than in organized events and vice versa.

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Re: Training method comparison

Post by Fishmongerjoe » Wed May 22, 2019 7:33 pm

shags wrote:Not sure I understand what you're asking.

Do you want to know if someone can use one method on one dog, and the other method on a different dog? Sure, why not? It would be a good way to figure out a method that the trainer enjoys using.

Or are you more after a comparison to how dogs respond to the methods, as in which is more effective? For that, IMO you'd need to train more than one dog in each, given that you can't choose dogs with identical personalities and talent. One dog each won't prove or disprove the effectiveness of a training method, but if you work 3-4 dogs in each, you might get a better idea. Even more dogs would be better. Of course, keep in mind that the trainer might find one method or the other more compatible with *his* personality and temperament so that would skew the results also.

The proof would be in the pudding, depending on what flavor is preferred. Some measure by success in competition or testing, and some by birds in the bag. Circumstances between those can vary wildly; what someone might demand in a personal gundog can be more or less than in organized events and vice versa.
I’d like to touch both of the scenarios that you mentioned. Unfortunately training 3-4 dogs using each method isn’t feasible at this point. Having 2 puppies simultaneously is going to be a stretch.

My main goal is to be knowledgeable in both methods. Being able to take another route could save time and trouble down the road.

In the mean time I think it could make for interesting content. Watching 2 puppies training simultaneously using 2 different methods and watching how they progress in real time could be interesting. I would like to document everything both in writing and video.

Right now there are 2 very different approaches happening in online based retriever training. In 1 hand you have CGA which is based on the British method of less force and no e-collar. The initial cost for the whole program is pretty high at $600. On the other hand, you have TRT which is American style e-collar force fetching, force to pile etc. The cost for it is $60/year. Both offer similar benefits, training groups, video demonstration, access to pros and so on. What makes one 10x the cost of the other and is it worth it?

The problem with a lot of reviews is that there is usually a bias either for or against. Rarely can people take an objective approach and do compare and contrast. I think it would be a a lot of work but something fun and rewarding no matter what happens along the way. I’m looking for advice on how to make it as fair of a comparison as possible.





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Re: Training method comparison

Post by shags » Thu May 23, 2019 4:59 am

In order to do a real study, you need a large sample and two puppies isn't enough to reliably compare results. But it would help you to decide which method you prefer as a trainer.

Why not find a way to go observe dogs trained in each method and see if you can spot any differences? You might be able to see things like quick/slow to respond, high/low energy, alertnes, eyes on handler or not, responsiveness, as well as how well the dogs perform the required work. IME it isn't very difficult to compare and contrast the results of se eral different trainers and their methods.

Another thought, are the two methods you want to try actual laid out methods with a step by step program, or are they general philosophies about training like ecollar/no ecollar? The latter would probably give you a lot more variables to sort through, comparing method and results.

Good luck with your project.

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Re: Training method comparison

Post by gonehuntin' » Thu May 23, 2019 5:33 am

There is a training philosophy that is gaining ground that is a kind of blending of the two. It is basically the American program reinforced in young dogs by clicker and reward. I believe that one dish, EVERYONE will have adopted this program.

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Re: Training method comparison

Post by Trekmoor » Thu May 23, 2019 6:30 am

I do not think it is possible to assess the "British way" compared to the "American way" by using only two pups as the test subjects.


I am told that American retrievers tend to be higher in prey drive than ours are and that may be true but I have also been told they are more prone to excitement whining than ours are ? Just one little whine can get you eliminated in a British field trial.


British retriever trial judges come down heavily on even minor examples of whining or hard mouth. I doubt very much if a British trainer with a British "style" trained lab could win in American trials but I also doubt the same thing if an American trainer with a lab bred and trained in America using the more usual American ways, could win if ran in a British trial.

I would be interested to see the results of a few British bred lab pups sent over to America to be trained in the usual American ways for field trials ,when compared to the opposite of this …. a few American bred lab pups sent over here to be trained by good trainers for trials here.

I know some lab pups are exported from here to the States but, so far, I have not heard of quality bred American labs being trained here ?

I think a British lab trailer in America or an American lab trailer over here would both have to change their methods to better suit the respective countries ?

Bill T.

Bill T.

Fishmongerjoe
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Re: Training method comparison

Post by Fishmongerjoe » Thu May 23, 2019 6:45 am

shags wrote:In order to do a real study, you need a large sample and two puppies isn't enough to reliably compare results.

Another thought, are the two methods you want to try actual laid out methods with a step by step program, or are they general philosophies about training like ecollar/no ecollar? The latter would probably give you a lot more variables to sort through, comparing method and results.

Good luck with your project.
Totally agree with the real study. The 2 methods are advertised as a comprehensive program starting at the 8 week old puppy phase up through finished “classy gundog” or “field trial ready”. Of course it’s up to the dog and handler how far you take it.

Both seem like they share at least a portion of the same market in the beginning and kinda of separate once you reach a certain level.

I think both tend to be results oriented and not so much pushing an agenda. It seems the British style geared more towards a hunting dog and the American style more focused on preparing for hunt test and trialing as the goal.



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Re: Training method comparison

Post by Trekmoor » Thu May 23, 2019 8:45 am

Fishmongerjoe wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 6:45 am


It seems the British style geared more towards a hunting dog and the American style more focused on preparing for hunt test and trialing as the goal.
Now that puzzles me quite a lot. Here in Britain a "British style" lab is taught to walk to heel and to retrieve. It is not taught or permitted to hunt for unshot game. Doing that could be counterproductive in a field trial lab. It is either sitting to heel, walking to heel or retrieving.

As far as I am aware no British retiever trainer has ever written a book or made an instructional video about training a lab to hunt as a spaniel.

I did train my field trial labs to hunt spaniel fashion ....but if one of those dogs had ever tried to hunt for unshot game in a trial it would have been eliminated. I only trained my labs to hunt because I also worked them as beating dogs and "roughshooting" dogs....roughly the equivalent of your upland hunting.

British labs do love to hunt and need only minimal training for that purpose but it is not the way we train for a "British style" lab in this country. No British lab trainer would even think of producing a training programme for a hunting lab. There would be no need for such a book or programme.... we'd just read a spaniel training book ! :lol:


Bill T.

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Re: Training method comparison

Post by gonehuntin' » Thu May 23, 2019 8:49 am

Don't let it puzzle you Bill, it's not a correct assessment. We train for HUNTING and the hunt tests are the icing on the cake. A competetive hunt test dog makes a superb hunting dog. They are obedient, steady to shot and fall and handle like a dream. All will go to the field and quarter for pheasant. The ultimate gun dog.

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Re: Training method comparison

Post by Steve007 » Thu May 23, 2019 9:04 am

Everyone's got a gimmick and everyone likes to think his "method" is better than someone else's. Many years ago, I took quite a few obedience seminars from the best professional obedience trainer in the country. He had a sign on his wall that has great relevance here. "Attitude is more important than technique."

You can train any well-bred mentally-stable dog to be a top-quality hunting dog using any "method", making adjustments as you go to take more time, get less or more insistent depending on the dog. Putting aside hard-core competition, anything involving consistency, patience and sensible adjustments will work. Attitude is more important than technique.

There is such a thing as overthinking a non-problem.

Fishmongerjoe
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Re: Training method comparison

Post by Fishmongerjoe » Thu May 23, 2019 10:00 am

Trekmoor wrote:
I would be interested to see the results of a few British bred lab pups sent over to America to be trained in the usual American ways for field trials ,when compared to the opposite of this …. a few American bred lab pups sent over here to be trained by good trainers for trials here.

Bill T.
I think that if you looked hard enough you could find Brit labs running American Field trials. The opposite likely doesn’t exist.

Some of the American bred dogs are too high strung. In all honesty that doesn’t appeal to me but they are impressive to watch.



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Re: Training method comparison

Post by JONOV » Thu May 23, 2019 10:13 am

Fishmongerjoe wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 3:01 pm
Hypothetical situation:

Say you were an amateur dog trainer with moderate skill. Maybe you’ve trained a hunting dog or two, maybe even have some experience in with low level hunt test. In other words, not a total rookie but your not a seasoned dog trainer either.

Let’s say you are about to get another dog and in modern fashion you start perusing the internet looking at what’s new in the world of retriever training. After you brush away the 1st layer you discover 2 distinct camps of dog trainers.

1. The British Method
2. The American Method

I DO NOT want this thread to digress into a debate on training styles.

My question is do you think it’s possible to start with 2 dogs and train 1 in each method? How would you pick the 2 dogs? Would you grab 2 out of the same litter? Or would you start with 1 from English lines and 1 from American lines? What would be the best way to be objective yet come to a conclusion? What would be the controls? Hunt test? Actual hunting performance? Maybe a controlled hunt like a preserve hunt?

Asking for a friend.


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The problem is that the objective, the method used for evaluating, drives the method. Furthermore, the objectives have been around so long that they've driven the breeding for many generations, and dogs that have been selected for breeding because they took well to one method might not take as well to another, ergo the result wouldn't be as good.

It's like saying, "What's the best saw for cutting wood?" If you're cutting a tree down, a chainsaw. If you're a carpenter, a miter saw or a circular saw.

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Re: Training method comparison

Post by Fishmongerjoe » Thu May 23, 2019 10:16 am

gonehuntin' wrote:Don't let it puzzle you Bill, it's not a correct assessment. We train for HUNTING and the hunt tests are the icing on the cake. A competetive hunt test dog makes a superb hunting dog. They are obedient, steady to shot and fall and handle like a dream. All will go to the field and quarter for pheasant. The ultimate gun dog.
Perhaps you’re right but the way they are selling it, to me they are targeting the field trialers in particular. I don’t know?

https://www.theretrievertrainer.com/the ... schematic/




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Re: Training method comparison

Post by DonF » Thu May 23, 2019 10:28 am

I wouldn't concern myself much with method other than which can you stick to yourself. The flaw in the program is the trainer that can't read his dog and can't be consistent in how he goes. Just pick on and go for it. I suspect if either done properly, you'll get the same end result with both.Continue on and along the way your gonna find something that strays a bit that works for you, you'll do it. The base will stay the same but your mods are added on. I have been doing pointing dog's a long time and my God is Delmar Smith. At some point along the way I change his program a bit and added to it, works for me and that is what count's. But I think the best way is to simply pick the one way that seem's best for you and learn it well. Then as you go along make your mods to it to suit yourself. What ever kind of dog your training, from hunting to obedience the key is consistency in what your doing and learning to read your dog.

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Re: Training method comparison

Post by weimdogman » Thu May 23, 2019 12:41 pm

If I understand the OP , just go on and try to train any 2 dogs in the seperate ways. You will learn plenty about both "systems". Yes , as a earlier reply mentioned more dogs , would offer more evidence of how the systems work.

Press on and keep us posted.

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Re: Training method comparison

Post by CDN_Cocker » Thu May 23, 2019 4:38 pm

Luckily dogs are smarter than us. They don't discriminate based on geography or looks.

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